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Gerrard: We deserved Ukraine luck

ESPN staff
June 20, 2012 « Hardy confirmed for Nottingham card | Chartbeat test »
Steven Gerrard said he was proud of the way England battled their way to a 1-0 victory over Ukraine © Getty Images
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Steven Gerrard has said that England deserved the rub of the green in their 1-0 win over Ukraine on Tuesday, in which the host nation were denied a goal even though the ball appeared to have clearly crossed the line.

After Wayne Rooney had headed England into the lead Ukraine piled the pressure on and Marko Devic seemingly equalised for Oleh Blokhin's side when he lifted the ball over Joe Hart in the second half, only to see John Terry hook it away. Failed appeals from the Ukraine players to the referee followed as they were denied what replays showed should have been a levelling goal.

England captain Gerrard highlighted the fate of his team two years ago at the World Cup, where a Frank Lampard shot crossed the line but was not counted against Germany, and said that hard work and fight from England had been rewarded with a dose of good fortune.

"To be successful in these tournaments, because of the standard of teams involved, you need that bit of luck going with you," Gerrard said.

"Two years ago we didn't get that luck with Frank Lampard's goal, a big turning point in that game against Germany, and we ended up packing our bags and going home.

"Today the luck turned. But it just shows that, if you keep working hard and keep fighting, you earn that luck. We deserved it today."

He added: "This was a very difficult group. I have very good players next to me in that dressing room. Everything's going our way."

Blokhin was incredulous both when the goal was denied and after the game, and said: "We conceded a lucky goal. We were able to equalise, but they didn't give it to us.

"Then we also played a very good game. England just played on the counter-attack. In the second half, they had no opportunities. Their threat only came from a few set-pieces, but it was just not our day. We didn't have any luck.

"[Marko] Devic scored a goal and it wasn't allowed. I don't really know why."

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